I’ll be the first to admit, talking about evil, real evil, gives me a chill. And rightly so. Christians know about Satan, and believe, just as we believe in the goodness and redeeming power of Jesus Christ. And just knowing Satan is real gives one pause.
But the Bible also tells us: “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8. Christians, following that admonition, tend to gloss over not only evil in the world, but the nature of evil. We talk about goodness, but really have little to contrast it with. Which causes a few problems in writing, I think, because one of the basic principles is to “show, don’t tell.”
And so it raises a question that I have struggled with a long time in writing Christian literature. How far do you go in portraying evil and evil people? I have several chapters in my Christian suspense trilogy The Champion in which the protagonist is thrown into prison. He is surrounded by evil, and I am convinced that the language and behavior that one would experience there would not be similar to what one sees and hears in church. But how far does one go?
And then there is the nature of evil. After writing about one pastor’s personal confrontation with demons and Satan himself, I have come to the conclusion that the saying “the love of money is the root of all evil” could also be stated as “selfishness is the root of all evil.” For it was Lucifer’s desire to become like the Most High that started the whole sin thing going. Power, lust, greed…they are all just forms of selfishness.
With that in mind, what would Satan’s inner circle be like? What would an army, a nation, a world be like that was founded on selfishness? It makes one stop and wonder, especially in light of many comments we hear today about consumerism.
I know that I don’t have all the answers on this issue. I am hoping you will share your views here. Thanks.